US 3896721 A
A data recorder in which a printing member credit card is mechanically driven through operative stages, a variable numbering head is set by electronic control, and a form holder is automated to place a print-out form in print position by program control.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
[4 1 July 29, 1975 United States Patent 1191 See Bai1cy............ Scranton A11port...........
m ht m m ar FG 68211 55677 99999 HHHHH 5004 5 6007 02 0 ,J 748500 4557 .5 22333 h 0 .m m m R a w rd D n l n "h 0 g 8 M Ch .k EC .nC R P, e an A& $0 n mm QM v. n. C r. 0? I a do G AC 0. m a C m n n g w W S E .m A HUN 5 7 7  Filed: June 1973 Primary Examiner-Edgar S. Burr  App]. No.: 373,822
Assistant Examiner-Edward M. Coven Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Ray S. Pyle i de m cm S r e mw mm m m P O mh mw T no C PM A t R n The S.w.w Bh A w Y. .1 re n ma h C 6 m ms a 7 m 5 AC 24 6 7on5 2 /3 OH M 1 %1 .x nmm H" mmh n .nr 3 Lhcl C IM k UhF HUN 555  References Cited gnvgrzilazlsnrlullirgliggnigs haijltd is stetdbz elelctronic conttrolg oma e o p ace :1 prm -ou UNITED STATES PATENTS form in print position by program control.
8 e r. u g .I F g n .1 w a r D 6 S m .l a .l C 3 6 X H9 W0 mm w mv um DG 43 5 99 H 93 PATENTED JUL29 I975 SHEET 1 ELECTRONIC DATA RECORDER BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Credit identification cards quickly begat embossed cards which can be placed in machines to print the identification data on a form, part of which is given to the customer as a receipt and the other part used for the accounting purposes. I
The embossed card found quick acceptance in the credit transaction field, particularly in department stores and gasoline service stations. Also, fraud quickly developed in the use of stolen cards and the use of cards long after the credit of the holder was rescinded. There have been many efforts to publish lists, both to be read by the attendant and to be stored in reading devices locally. However, these devices are'so slow that they are completely out of date beforethey are delivered to the point of sale.
Accordingly, the industry has been searching for adequate means for storing credit information in one central location serving credit terminals over a wide area. Such central processing of credit information has been slowly developing into a practical system as means and apparatus become available to reduce the cost and time SYNOPSIS OF THE INVENTION It is the purpose of this invention to-provide a transport for a printing chip, the most common type being known as a personal credit card, wherein the transport first scans the identification and code data from the card and then is able to transport the card over a set of numbering wheels and drop the card down to the level of the wheels in order that the embossers of the credit card are on the same printing level with the numbering wheels.
Further, it is an object of the invention, whetherthe numbering wheels are in alignment with the path in which the card moves, as common in department store use, or lateral to the cards, as in oil service station use,
to provide an offset transport path such that thecard.
will drop from a first level down to a second level and stop at that level, in order that the printing pressure of a roller platen will not be able to cause the credit card to reverse direction and smudge "a desired print.
It is yet another object of this invention to provide a IN THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a schematic representation of an electronically controlled data recorder embodying the principles of this invention;
FIG. 2 is a top plan view of the imprint area of the machine only;
FIG. 3 is a vertical section taken along the line 3-3 of FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is a vertical section taken along the line 4-4 of FIG. 3;
FIG. 5 is a schematic section of the bed with a printing card drive means in the print area of the bed; and FIG.'6 is a top plan view of that portion shown in FIG. 5.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT The illustrated embodiment is a data recorder in which an embossed card is taken into the machine in the entrance opening of a conveyor and first passes through a read station to extract from the card identification and/or authorization data.
The card progresses through the read station to a print station. In the print station there are variable amountprint wheels, such as found commonly in data recorders, together with a location for the inserted embossed card printing member and permanent information plates, sometimes referred to as station plates.
A print-out form is placed over the assembly of the printing card, variable set wheels, and stationary information station plate, and a roller platen caused to roll over the assembly. In this way carbon paper or pressure released paper will cause the assembled information to be printed on the form.
The preferred embodiment incorporates a form carrier which will prevent insertion of the form prior to proper placement of the printing member and set up of the variables, and this way prevent jamming and improper relationship of the various components.
Preferably, the data recorder is controlled by a controller from information supplied by a computer. In this preferred arrangement the data recorder can be used to store transaction data, or actually be used as a credit authorization terminal.
' In FIG. 1 a bed 10, having a first portion 11 at a high elevation and a second portion 12 at a lower elevation provides a path 'or bed upon which a credit card 13 may rest as it is conveyed through the recorder. A shoulder 14 separates the first from the second portion.
The bed per se forms a first part of a conveyor means.
At the entrance to the conveyor means there is illustrated an optical reader 15 which is shown in general outline, and preferably is of the type shown in the US.
Pat. No. 3,627,991 manufactured and supplied by North American Rockwell Corporation. The reader 15 comprises generally a transparent wheel with a section at the rim in the form of a prism. As elastomeric band around the rim presses upon the embossed areas of a credit card 13 and causes the representation of the figures to appear as black letters when viewed from the internal area of the prism form of the wheel. The internal portion is illuminated and then optically read. The illuminating and optical reading equipment is not illustrated in these drawings, because this particular optical reader is one of a plurality of readers which may be selected.
Seldom will it be desired to provide both embossed and magnetically recorded information of the same nature on one card, but FIG. 1 illustrates a magnetic stripe reader below the bed 10 which is capable of sensing recorded information on cards that are presented with a magnetic stripe.
An idle, roller 17 is shown below the bed 10 in the area of the reader 15 to support the card and press it against the reader. A motor 18 drives the reader 15 to move the card through the read station. This representation of the read station equipment is symbolic and is not intended to convey a structural diagram of actual equipment.
In the preferredembodiment of the invention, drive rollers 19 are spaced along the bed 10 and are faced by counterpart idlers 20 which may be seen only in FIG. of these drawings. The card 13 will move along the bed by the drive action of the several rollers and idlers as they grasp the card and pass it from roller to roller. A drive belt system 21 interconnects the several drive rollers 19 through a series arrangement to the power source motor 18.
A switch 23 at the end of the bed has its actuator projecting through an opening in the bed to sense the arrival of the card 13 upon the second portion 12 of the bed. The card is shown in phantom outline in FIG. 6 in the position where it has arrived in contact with switch 23. Switch 23 causes the motor 18 to stop instantly and allow the card to remain in the print position on the second portion 12 until after an imprint impression has been made.
The bed is recessed in the area indicated by the reference character 25 and has an opening 26. The numbering wheels, substantially conventional in nature, are mounted in a saddle below the bed and are journalled on a drive shaft and projects through the bed to a level which places embossures thereon at a level assumed by embossers on the card 13 when placed on the second portion 12 of the bed 10. A drive motor 28 is shown only in FIG. 5, and this drive motor is used to establish the several wheels of the numbering wheels 27 into an indicia series. In mechanical data recorders the wheels 27 are established into a numbering series by using control rack and pinion levers. The illustrated embodiment, being an electronic data recorder, depends upon a control drive of the wheels through electronic control. A full description of one suitable electronic control is set forth in the co-filed and co-pending United States application Ser. No. 373,821, filed June 26, 1973, by Charles McVey.
A platen 30 is represented symbolically in the drawings. Roller platens in data recorders are old and well known, and the platen 30 may be power driven under control of a suitable computer and controller, or mechanically actuated in the conventional manner of mechanical data recorders. As thus described, this data recorder comprises a conveyor means which is made up generally of composite bed structure and a drive means to pass a printing card along that bed to a printing station from a remote loading point at the read station. The conveyor is a through pass from the loading station to an exit out of the bed area, and since the conveyor means comprises generally both the composite bed and the drive wheels it is proper to state that the conveyor means is arrestable to position the token, which is the credit card 13, on the bed adjacent to the print wheels.
This invention is further characterized by a form carrier 35 which greatly assists in preventing the improper use of the electronic data recorder. The form carrier has a pivoted hub structure 36 which is a molded base structure upon which the carrier is formed. The hub is carried by pivot pins 37, shown best in FIGS. 2 and 4, and the pins are mounted to the bed 10 as shown best in FIGS. 2 and 4.
Carrier 35 has a bed plate 38 with an opening39 therein. A lip 40 at the back of the bed prevents insertion of form cards to an improper depth within the recorder.
A slot entrance 41 in the hub 36 guides the insertion of a form, indicated by the phantom outline reference 42 in FIG. 2, into proper location upon the bed 38. A thin cover membrane 43, seen best in FIG. 4, is carried by the hub 36 and extends out over the bed to completely cover the opening 39 and most of the area upon which the form 42 will lie. The cover 43 may be any very thin dimensionally stable sheet such as stainless steel, but a transparent thin sheet of a synthetic resin sold under the trademark name Mylar is generally believed preferable. The presence of the cover 43 will prevent wrinkling of the form whenever the form consists of a set of several tissue thin members with interleaved carbon paper. 7
The pivoted support of the carrier enables the carrier to extend in an elevated first position juxtapoised a distance above the bed as shown in FIG. 4. In this position, the conveyor means can transport the credit card 13 along the bed and under the form carrier. The embossed wheel in the set 27 extends to a height, as seen in FIG. 5, just at or below the level of the first portion of the bed, and therefore do not interfere with the travel of the card. The form carrier is elevated and does not interfere with the travel of the card. The card therefore has free movement to arrive at the print station where it is stopped by contact with the switch 23. In that position, the card will lie adjacent to shoulder 14. When roller platen 30 moves across the bed, the card will be locked against reverse direction sliding by the shoulder.
A handle 45 .on the bed 38 of the carrier 35 is used to raise and lower the bed down to printing position. When the handle 45 is drawn downwardly the bed carries the form down against the credit card and the wheels 27, thereafter the platen can roll across the as sembly of forms and printing members to print out the form with the data assembled.
A hanger arm 46, seen best in FIG. 3, provides an anchor point for a spring 48. Spring 48 is attached to the arm 45 and therefore provides a resilient drive force pulling on the form carrier to urge it into a closed positibn upon the bed 10.
A lever 50, seen best in FIG. 3, has a lifter end 51 under a shoulder of the handle 45 to lift the bed against the urge of spring 48. A drive arm 52 of the lever 50 extends into a home position of the platen 30 and therefore when the platen 30 is in the FIG. 3 position the drive arm 52 is forced downwardly around a support pivot 53 to elevate the lifter end 51 and raise the bed 38 of form carrier 35.
This construction provides a very convenient means coordinated with the platen to move the form carrier from the first position juxtaposed a distance above the bed to a second position upon the bed prior to platen movement across the bed. This is true because as the platen moves away from the home position shown in FIG. 3, it will release the lever and allow spring 48 to drop the bed of the form carrier upon the bed 10 before the platen reaches the form carrier.
Likewise, when the platen returns from its print stroke to the home position the platen will cause the form carrier to return to the first position by again driving the drive arm 52 around the pivot to lift the form carrier bed.
In order to implement this data recorder into its preferred embodiment, a controller 55, keyboard 56 and computer 57 are coordinated to read the information from the card to the readers and 16, accept information from the keyboard 56, and according to a desired program in the computer, establish the several numbering wheels 27 into a value that is proper for the particular transaction involved. Such a combination of members can be employed in a wide variety of suitable combinations to simply receive authorization for a credit transaction, or various amounts entered in the keyboard may be added together and the central computers 57 polled to determine whether such a sale amount is authorized, and then the wheels may actually be set by the controller under program of the computer.
These and other possibilities are further explained in co-pending application Ser. No. 373,777 filed June 26, 1973.
What is claimed is:
1. An automated data recorder, comprising:
a data recorder bed;
a card conveyor having means to move a printing token along a transport path;
said conveyor having a path extending between entrance and exit areas;
a reading means at said entrance area of said conveyor for sensing data from a token conveyed thereby;
a print wheel set mounted with the axis of the wheel set stationary with respect to said bed and with the wheel set in printing alignment with said bed for printing variable information on a recording form placed on said bed;
said conveyor transport path extending over said print wheel set for conveying the print token to said bed adjacent said print wheel set;
a movable form carrier having a first position generally above said conveyor and spaced therefrom, and having a second position in contact with said bed;
a roller platen movable from a park position across said bed to 3 terminus and return for applying imprint pressure to token, wheels, and form on said carrier; and
drive means for moving said carrier into contact with said bed in response to platen movement from said park position and for separating said carrier from said bed to said first position in response to return of said platen to said park position.
2. In a data recorder as defined in claim 1, said means for moving a printing token being a series of friction drive rollers spaced along the bed.
3. In a data recorder as defined in claim 1, said movable form carrier being a frame pivoted from one side of said bed with means urging said frame to pivot upwardly to said first position during token transport, and means closing said frame to said second position in response to platen movement.